Little things that make a big difference
I have written and spoken often about big casino promotions that make a big difference. Less often, however, do I talk about “the little things,” you know, the seemingly mundane, almost imperceptible, stuff that nonetheless matters to our casino customers and to our casino operations. Perhaps this stuff just isn’t sexy enough or it’s too ingrained in us to not spend time on supposed “trivial matters.”
But you know what? Some of this “little stuff” costs very little. Some of it has huge customer impact. Some of it can help create “customers for life.” Some of it is so simple that I guarantee your competitors are overlooking it. And if you add it all together, I’m betting these “little things with big impact” will become one VERY LARGE result for your gaming organization.
And you don’t need me to tell you what these big little impactors are. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and listen to your customers. Especially the loud ones.
But I know you’ve been very busy, so I’ll share the “little stuff” that I’ve noticed over the last few decades. Much of it is so simple, I’ll know you’ll get right to it.
Dennis' observed little stuff that can make a big differenceThe surprise appetizer – I don’t know how it’s orchestrated, and I’ve mainly seen it in higher-end casino restaurants (yet it doesn’t have to be limited there), but it’s the “little taste from the chef” that shows up before the appetizers or the main course, as a surprise gift. Even better when the chef brings it out personally.
Employees using name from players club card – we’ve trained our customers to use their “valuable” player’s club cards, and they present them at numerous points of contact (playing the tables, redeeming points, winning a jackpot, getting ahead in line, etc.) But rarely do you see casino employees IMMEDIATELY use the guest name when receiving the card in the transaction – huge impact when they do!
Bright lights in dark places – sure it falls under safety and security committee “stuff,” but well-lit hallways, parking garages and outdoor “dark spots” are among your most appreciated facility gestures, especially among your female customers.
Big print on small menus – restaurants are typically dark and casino customers are typically older, with failing eyesight. So when you see large enough menu print that you can actually read, well that’s a real eye opener!
Any customer touch from a casino bigwig – whether it’s a “Hello” from the GM at a special event, or a “How ya’ doin’” from a slot director walking the casino floor, or a “Welcome” from the hotel VP at check-in – it’s all the same; your customers love the attention from the “Casino Rock Stars.”
Getting your restaurant check quickly – or would you rather have your restaurant diners wait for the bill so they couldn’t go spend more money somewhere else at your casino?
Security officer opening the front door at a casino entrance with warm words of welcome – yes, simply turning your “cops” into customer service greeters. Your competitors won’t do it.
Congratulating obvious player wins at the cashier window – it might be a small gesture, but it makes your cashing-out customers feel like big winners.
Opening the passenger’s door, as well as the driver’s door at casino valet arrival – Hey, hardly anyone does it, they just take care of the potential tipper.
Towel dispensers next to restroom sinks – and NOT at the other end of the restroom (so your hands drip all over the floor on the way to drying them).
“Welcome” signs at casino entrances and “Thanks for visiting” signs at casino exits – rather than “rules of prohibited conduct” and “deposit bar glasses here.”
Elevators that work – instead of three of them always stuck on floor 18.
A personal note (Thanks for visiting, Welcome to the club, Come back and visit, Happy birthday, Congratulations, etc.) from a frontline employee that customers actually know – rather than from a GM they’ve never met, or worse, from a building (“The _____ Hotel Casino”)!
A departing dealer that introduces an arriving dealer to the players at the table.
A “Thank You for Dining with Us Last Evening” personal note from a casino restaurant manager under a guest’s hotel room door.
A free bottle of water in an arriving guest’s room.
A sincere smile.
Yes, little things can make a big difference. But it’ll take more than a little effort, because, well, you know how difficult even small change can be.